|Emissions Reduction Toolkit||Climate Resilience Toolkit||Climate Resilience Guidelines|
Casey Braunger, Ankrom Moisan Architects
Passive cooling systems cool buildings without relying on mechanical techniques. Strategies for passive cooling can include ventilation, siting, shading windows and building design elements (see also: Design with Passive Stack Ventilation, Optimize Cross-ventilation and Design with Operable Windows). Shutters, trees planted in front of windows or built overhangs all contribute to passively cooling a space. Likewise, elevating ceilings can allow air to circulate and cool.
Sustainability and resilience metrics emphasize the need for buildings that can maintain livable temperatures while limiting and decreasing energy demand and usage. Certifications like LEED and the Living Building Challenge award credits for passive cooling and heating initiatives.
For existing buildings, simple retrofits include planting trees in front of windows, installing shutters or building overhangs. More intensive projects should be completed in the design phase and do not make for efficient retrofits. Design-based passive cooling utilizes natural heat cycles to circulate air throughout the space. Examples of design strategies include elevated ceilings and ventilation, slanted roofs, unoccupied buffer zones and insulation. Site orientation should also be considered when designing for passive cooling, for example, a large bank of south-facing windows should have shades or some form of light-blocking installed.
Potential regulatory touchpoints in Boston and Massachusetts include: